As an oldster of 80 with two jobs, a large family to see to, and enjoying a wonderful married life with lots of sports and social activities I disagree totally with the stupid economists who think we oldsters can’t take care of ourselves and that the dwindling population of younger people should have to pay and take care of us. That is the stated reason for advocating that European nations, Japan and the U.S. have more children. These economists think that we need more workers to put money into the Social Security programs of each nation. But because the U.S. is a bankrupt nation as are many European countries these Social Security programs will soon fail as many governments have already spent the funds’ principle to get out of debt. Most of us oldsters were smart and have retirement plans and children who will take care of us as was done in the old days, before all the entitlements.
As a member of the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future (1970-1972), when our nation’s population was only 200 million, I remember the discussion we had on this subject and the commission’s recommendation that the retirement age be raised to age 70 because people were healthier and living longer. And that was 42 years ago. Nothing was done about this in the U.S. until only recently when the full retirement age was finally raised.
These economists are wrong. We need to reduce population growth, even in developed countries, if planet Earth is going to survive the dire predictions that many scientists are making about a massive collapse of all systems at once. We earthlings are destroying our planet very quickly. The huge ecological footprint of developed nations using the bulk of natural resources, etc., is the main reason that these nations should not grow, but reduce their size. We should all be happy that European nations, Russia and Japan all have low fertility rates and are maintaining them.
Japan has proved that there is no need to up their birth rate—they are doing just fine with a sustainable, stabilized steady population. Their economy has improved steadily since their economic recession during the nineties.
As we reach 7 billion people on Monday, October 31 we ought to groan out loud about what we have done to our fragile planet and take the family planning steps to curb this continued growth of people, people, and more people.